Winnie The Pooh - DVD Review

'Tigger in particular is a character destined to imbue any children's narrative with a heightened sense of fun. If he wasn't the only one then every animation should aspire to have one of him'

If Winnie The Pooh interests you even remotely then you'd do well to search out the 1968 effort, Winnie The Pooh And The Blustery Day. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman (a Disney veteran who directed, amongst others, One Hundred And One Dalmatians and The Jungle Book) the film indulges the subversive side of Pooh, with its imagery of 'heffalumps and woozles', shape-changing and the type of mind-bending colour palette that only emerges out of an acid trip. Bet you didn't expect that from Pooh, did you?

Disney's latest attempt to get the bear and his famous friends into cinemas is hardly as risqué but nonetheless enjoyable. In fact, directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall don't completely forget about Pooh's darker side and the villain of the piece - The Backson, who has a stellar musical refrain - is straight out of The Gruffalo territory. Elsewhere the music is hit and miss. 'The Winner Song' gets so annoying that even one of the characters stops everyone from singing it at one point whilst anything contributed and sung by Zooey Deschanel veers into territory so saccharine that even Pooh would think twice before sticking his head in it.

It goes without saying that the very young should really lap this up and then come back for more within the hour. The A.A. Milne characters have lost none of their simple charm over the years and although subtle changes have crept in they're still the recognisable fun-lovers which have made the books and the films such stalwarts for many many years. Tigger in particular is a character destined to imbue any children's narrative with a heightened sense of fun. If he wasn't the only one then every animation should aspire to have one of him.

There's not enough depth here to recommend it for adult-only audiences but hey, if you find watching Pooh say 'bother' as he sits with a honey pot on his head funny then there will be a couple of solid laughs here for you. I chuckled at least four times and there are some well constructed jokes which at least nod to the parents in the audience who will no doubt be sitting through their fifth viewing of the DVD. And that's just on the first day of purchase. Destined, like other Pooh films before it, to become a favourite in many a household.

Winnie The Pooh is available on DVD in the UK from today.

Look further...

'It’s encouraging that a film like this will still keep kids engaged. Not everything these days has to explode from the screen in a headache-inducing tumult to keep their attention' -, 3.5/4


  1. I like the quote at the bottom and can't agree with it enough...'...Not everything these days has to explode from the screen in a headache-inducing tumult...'.
    I've been saying this for a long time in regards to animation. For me Kungfu Panda 2 suffered for that very reason. It was loud, noisy, and totally missed the quiet charm of the first. Tangled is another example of a good animated feature that didn't need 'headache-inducing tumult' either!
    I'm not overly big on Pooh as he is a bit too for the kiddies to engage me. But it is nice to think that charmers are still made like this.

  2. Everyone had films when they were a young kid that you owned on VHS and watched till the tape went on the fritz. This is the equivalent of those films. Completely harmless, quite a charmer and, like you and Joel say, absolutely without the ADD style of Hollywood production favoured these days. I wish Disney would stick to hand drawn stuff like this. I loved THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and I'd really like to see more like it.

  3. I was disappointed to see that this film did so badly at the box office. It was so refreshing to see a kids film that was genuinely nice, slightly old fashioned, and not (as you say above) ADD stricken like all kids film from Hollywood these days are. I went to see it on the Saturday morning of it's 2nd weekend on release and there were only 2 or 3 families in there. Shame. I actually came out the cinema feeling good about the world!

    PS - the Zooey Deschanel songs offended me far less than they offended others, and I was particularly charmed with the clever way the film and story was built around the book, words and letters.

  4. The way its built around the book, words and letters is great and I think I'm right in saying that that is a Pooh trope. Not sure if it was in THE BLUSTERY DAY but I'm almost certain I've seen it in Pooh films before. It's very clever and I think it does a good job of saying to kids 'Hey! Read something too!'.

    It is indeed a shame that it didn't do well in cinemas but I think Disney always saw this as a release for the very young, and that means the home market is a major target. Perhaps the surprising thing is that they bothered with a cinema release at all. It'll do fine on DVD and Pooh is a strong brand so I doubt very much that they're about to kill it off on the strength of one cinema outing. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. This is actually my favourite movie of the year, thus far. It's almost perfect to be, so sincere and so effective.

  6. Glad you enjoyed it so much! My copy is about to get donated to a tigger-obsessed one year-old so it's off to a good home!